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services and a surge of combat vets from the iraq and afghanistan wars entering the system, the demand for v.a. health care services has increased dramatically in recent years. this bill provides $58.6 billion for v.a. discretionary funding, $2.3 billion over current funding. the bill also includes $52.5 billion in fy 2013 advanced appropriations for vets' medical care. one of the very few areas in which this bill provides an increase in funding is v.a. medical research, which is $72 million over the budget request to restore funding to the current level. with little room to maneuver on the v.a. side of the ledger, the vast majority of the savings in the bill comes from incrementing or defunding certain military construction projects. the bill provides $13.7 billion for military construction, $1 billion below the request. the milcon reductions in the bill are restricted to the active-duty components. the guard and reserve components, family housing, barrack and other accounts are fully funded at the president's request. every military construction project funded in this bill is authori
the president to wage war. we do so at a time when the united states is so engaged in wars in afghanistan and iraq and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. in light of these circumstances and the lack of united states vital interests in in libya, i do not believe we should be intervening in a civil war there. american combat forces are so efficient at certain types of operations and are over the horizon technology is so potent that the use of the military instrument to right wrongs exists as a tremendous temptation for presidents. american intervention in libya did not come as a result of a disciplined assessment of our vital interests or an authorization debate in the congress. given all that is at stake in pakistan, afghanistan, iran, saudi arabia, egypt, syria, yemen and elsewhere in the islamic world, a rational strategic assessment would not devote sizable american military and economic resources to a civil war in libya. it is an expensive diversion that leaves the united states and our european allies with fewer assets to respond to other contingencies. under the constitution, it
, reduced spending on the wars in afghanistan and iraq and through targeted cuts to mandatory spending. it doesn't raise taxes and it doesn't touch medicare, medicaid or social security. again, this is not a perfect plan. i have been on the floor many times in favor of a balanced package that includes cuts to spending, domestic, defense and mandatory, but also includes increased revenues. the reid princess plan doesn't e those goals -- the reid plan doesn't achieve those goals but i hope we will get there eventually. this is not a proposal i would have written, but i'm one of more than 100 members of the senate and more than 535 members of congress, and i don't get everything i want. none of us here in congress get everything we want. that's the nature of compromise. that's the nature of democracy, and that's why the framers of the constitution created checks and balances in government. that's why they created two chambers in congress and three branches of government, and when you're a leader in government, you just don't have the luxury of drawing a line in the sand and walking away.
from the iraq and afghanistan wars are real. that's c.b.o. saying it. not some democrat who's hoping and praying for an easy fix. this completely undercuts the arguments by republicans who have tried to call these savings a gimmick, even though they included them in their own budget and voted for them only a few months ago. if it was knock their budget -- if it was okay in their budget, it's got to be okay in our budget. you can't just change your mind based on whose budget it is. the substance should matter to some extent. plus, since the c.b.o. will only measure the plan's first draft before aofficial plan savings were incorporated into the bill, the final version will achieve even deeper savings when it is filed on the floor. as "politico" reports this morning, "in the battle of budget scores, the senate democratic deficit-reduction bill is the clear winner thus far over an alternative by speaker john boehner." and lastly, senator reid's proposal allows for a joint committee that has the potential to achieve even deeper savings down the road to get our country back on the path to
of the war in afghanistan, which is what we're going to spend over the next four years? now there is a good cut that we ought to make. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to recognize a true american hero, private first class joe immediate. private class meed was a member of mike company third battalion, 26th marines. he died in vietnam when his battalion was fightin while carrng a wounded comrade to a wounded helicopter, he stepped on a land mine and was killed. he was on a -- he was only 19 at the time. in recognition of his valor he was awarded the silver star. dwayne crawford, his former commanding officer who recently founded a scholarship in his officer, had these words to say about joe's actions. with total disregard for his own life, he continually exposed himself to danger by administering first aid to his wounded comrades. offering them comforting words and helping them to me
, for example, thel war in afghanistan are committing the united states of america to spending $10 billion a monthhis em gomen in uniform. cin members of a family who are ovei there waging this war. they voted for that. money president obama has said toe m them, the bill is coming in for the war inre afghanistan. sayine i have to very money to pay for it. fo fo houseeb and senate who voted for the war not to understand say wr won't pay the bills.nistan. we want allow you, mr. president to sustain our military force io afghanistan. that is literally what we'ren do taught about here in this debate. the american people are turning to come to understand it because when you first ask a person, tht obvious answer is no, are you crazy, senator? by what i want one of them in this country? we need more less stack, notts e more. when you go to the point ofjusto explaining that this is to pay d for things we authority -- that's the authority incurred, it isn't just a wage of war. 65a it is a debt incurred to pay fot medicare. we staaidl a to 65-year-olds acr america, you get medicare that will be the
military to be getting the news in afghanistan and iraq of all the upheaval in washington, because they're getting the news, of course. and for them to worry, oh, my gosh what happens august 2 if my paycheck isn't there or my wife or my husband -- for my wife or my husband to be able to use that to pay our mortgage or the basic expenses? i just want to put it in perspective here. we have people in the military with boots on the ground by the thousands that are making under $20,000 a year. now, those are people who are living paycheck to paycheck. they don't have the luxury of having a big savings account with that kind of income, and especially if they've got children. my goodness, they're making under $18,000 a year, some of these younger junior members of the enlisted corps. so i don't think we ought to make them worry for ten seconds if they can pay their basic bills for their housing and the food for their families. in my state of texas, there are 28,000 brave men and women deployed in the support of operations in iraq and afghanistan. there are more than 97,000 service members depl
these savings from withdrawing from iraq and afghanistan. and essential education, job creation, housing, and environmental investments where america's economic recovery and for our strong economic future would be protected from the slashing cuts proposed by the house republicans. the irony is, republican leaders previously have backed all the spending reductions called for in leader reid's plan. now, i don't agree -- and i suspect all of us don't agree with all aspects of this proposed solution. but we're not going to have 100 solutions on this floor. we're going to have one that we can vote on. i wish this would have included new revenue, especially by ending such costly and outdated tax benefits as those still enjoyed by the biggest oil companies to help us pay off our debt even more quickly. i'd like to help pay for the debt incurred by the inexcusable earlier decisions to enter two wars without paying for them. and i continue to believe the surcharge for the wealthiest would mean that they would pay more of their fair share after so many years of tax cuts that have tilted far more t
wars in iraq and afghanistan and participate in the nato exercise in libya. that's pretty expensive undertaking. we know that that has gone up 84%, military spending, in the last ten years, gone up 84%. we know at the same period of time that spending on mandatory programs -- that would be like social security, medicare, medicaid, agriculture payments, veterans payments. spending for those payments over the last ten years has gone up 32%. and we know that the rest of the budget, the so-called domestic discretionary spending which would include things like building highways, keeping federal prisons open, providing pell grants to college students, giving children from poor families early childhood education, putting money at the national institutes of health for madam chair research. that's one section of the budget. it comprises 12% of our budget. in the last ten years that part of our budget has gone up zero percent. no increase in spending in that section. most of our spending goes into the military, 84% increase over ten years, and mandatory programs, 32% over ten years. the bigge
billion in iraq and afghanistan to train the security forces, less than $10 billion to retrain our work force for the jobs of the future. well, mr. president, i see others have come on the floor. i'll wrap this up. deficit reduction is important. i'm not saying it isn't. but it is not the single-most important thing right now. the single-most important thing is to put people back to work. that will, as senator wyden said earlier, start to create the demand. it will spur more private investment as the federal government begins to invest in the future of this country. that's where we ought to be focusing on. once we get the wheels going again, once we get people back to work and the economy start to to -- starts to grow, that's when we start to reduce the deficit. to just focus on deficit reduction right now to the exclusion of putting people back to work reminds me of when doctors used to put leaches on people who were ill. it only made them more ill because it drained more blood out of their system. and most times proved fatal, as it did to our first president, george washington. our ur
social security but not the wife of a soldier in afghanistan. that's not such a good idea. maybe we won't pay the veterans benefit. we'll pay the idea. not such a good idea. what about those 12 million to 15 million students head ofd to college in the next few weeks with a student grant or staopbt loan from the federal government?shall we pay those je public colleges take care of their own? you see what can happen if we had a country, especially a country like the united states, which instead of paying all of its obleses on time, whether it is to china or japan or grandma or to the veteran, that we begin to selectively pay those bills when we had the money. i think i know what would happen. instead of being able to borrow money for ten years at 3%, we might have to pay a little more for it. let's say it just went from 3% to 4%, what would mean to us? it would mean, according to the congressional budget office, that the taxpayers would have to pay $1.3 trillion more in interest over ten years. so if it goes up to 5%, that's twice that. or it goes up to 3% -- that's what happens when you
arsenal. the current inventory is getting old and worn down from iraq and afghanistan. some equipment can be refurbished with life extension programs, but there is no getting around the fact that others must be replaced. when it comes to our military modernization accounts, he said the proverbial low-lying or low-hanging fruit, those weapons and other programs considered most questionable have not only been plucked, they have been stomped on and crushed. what remains are much-needed capabilities relating to our air superiority, our mobility, long-range strike, nuclear deterrents, maritime access, space and cyberwarfare, ground forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance that our nation's civilian and military leadership deemed absolutely critical. and he gave examples of a new tanker. he noted the ones we have are twice as old as many of the pilots who are flying them. a new generation strike fighter, the f-35. he said we have got to build more ships. the size of the navy has sunk to the lowest number since prior to world war ii. the army and marines, doing the bulk of our fight
assistance force, isaf, and u.s. forces afghanistan. the president expressed his full confidence in general allen as he begins this important assignment and that he said he looks forward to working closely with him. and with that i will take your questions. >> i want to follow-up on something the president said. he claimed to call speaker boehner and the other leaders after the house vote to resume meetings here, is that right? should we respect resumption a daily meeting? >> no, i think the president will call speaker boehner, based on what he said. he will call the leaders and arrange for a time for a meeting to happen here at the white house. is not a series of meetings budget sometime in the next few days. >> he also made note at the end there that is in progress or agreement with the concept of six or seven senators, how is the white house expects what this again is think to have an impact on the house republican? >> the news from the gang of six/seven italy a significant because it dramatized and reinforces the fact that the only way to deal a significant deficit reduction bill is to
a war of necessity in afghanistan, keeping us there far longer than necessary, at an additional cost of $430 billion, unpaid for. a total cost for both wars, unpaid for, of $1.2 trillion. the republican party that will not now agree to one penny in revenue and demands only more spending cuts has fought to make tax breaks for the wealthy permanent that would cost this nation another $5 trillion. their favorite big business in wall street and a tax code that has resulted in major multibillion-dollar corporations paying no taxes -- yes, no taxes at all. in fact, a detailed government accountability office study of corporate income taxes from 1998-2005 showed that 55% of large u.s. corporations reported no, no tax liability for at least one of those eight years. yet, those same republicans will look us in the eye in defense of their defenseless position and tell us that most individuals do not pay taxes either. what they will not say is that those individuals who do not pay taxes do not pay taxes for a reason. they do not earn enough to pay income tax, and many of them are among the poor
to the president of the united states, as an example, we want you to continue to wage war in afghanistan at the cost of $10 billion a month, this president knows that he will have to borrow about $4 billion a month to meet that congressional appropriation. you see, we borrow about 40 cents for every dollar we spend. similarly, when it comes to the payments that we make to our veterans, who are disabled, we have promised them we will pay you, because you served our country and you lost a limb or you were injured and we will compensate you for that loss for the rest of your life. we need in making that commitment that we're also making a commitment to borrow the money necessary to do it. so periodically a president will come to congress and say, i understand our obligations which you have sent to me and i have approved, and now i ask you to extend my authority to borrow the money to meet those obligations. that has happened 89 times since 1939. since we passed this law, presidents of both parties have come to congress and asked for that authority. and aceman as i mentioned, not d congress
's why. how many wars are we fighting now? let's name them. afghanistan, iraq, pakistan, libya, and soon as mr. leon panetta says, we'll be fighting in iran. we have military operations all over the middle east. why can't we divert some of those funds, cut some of those wars and not cut social security because social security never impacted on our debt. social security was funded all along so why are we cutting social security? >> guest: well, let me just assure you we are not going to cut social security, okay? i think there might be efforts in the house to cut social security, and it might possibly pass, although i certainly know that the cut cap and whatever it's called won't pass because it requires a two-thirds vote and you need 50 democrats to vote for it, and i don't believe we'll have 50 democrats to vote for it, but i guarantee you if any measure passed the house of social security, it would not be taken up in the senate, and if it did, i believe the president would veto it. you know, you're a retiree, paid into social security, all of your working life, and you deserve to conti
be directly affected by a government default. paychecks for soldiers, in afghanistan and iraq and at bases around the world conceivably wouldn't go out. f.a.a. towers could shut down. border crossings could close. operations at the f.b.i. and the c.i.a. would be put at risk. safety inspections of the food that we eat and the cargo that enters our ports could halt. and the resulting spike in interest rates would ironically make our debt even harder to tackle because each 1% rise in interest rates alone would result in $130 billion in increased interest payments on our national debt each year. perhaps, most importantly, hard-working american families would also feel the crunch. a spike in interest rates would effectively force a tax on all americans and american businesses due to increased consumer costs. just as important, failure to raise the debt limit would lock up credit markets because the u.s. would no longer be seen as a reliable credit risk. coincidentally, mr. president, yesterday an important consumer protection law which senator lugar and i introduced and passed and you helped us
spending at all levels, including the military, as we bring our troops home from afghanistan. and, yes, it needs to look at the money that we spend through our tax code -- and we've talked about this over and over again. we need to have a balanced approach, a credible approach to manage our debt. and that should be our first option. but under no circumstances should we allow america to default on its obligations, causing harm to every american family. i urge-colleagues to put the national -- i urge my colleagues to put the national interests first, to take off the table the default on our debt, take that off the table, let's put the national interest first, work together to bring about a credible plan to manage our national debt. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and suggest the an -- before i do that, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the following. you could eliminate all the bush/obama tax cuts. you could pull out of iraq, afghanistan and southwest asia tomorrow. you could end up eliminating all congressional earmarks and you could eliminate all foreign aid which people think is a big number but it's not, that's about 15 to 20% of the problem. the government has grown too big, promised too much, waited too long to restructure. yes, we're going to have to have more revenues as compared to historical levels but we need to go about it in an intelligent way that will make our system fairer, more equitable, more comparative and it will promote job growth and promote innovation. last i think this, on the comeback america initiative, preemptive framework, there's an additional $500 billion for critical investments over the next two years in order to help the economic recovery and to deal with unemployment. nonetheless, the net spending reductions over the next 10 years are over 3 trillion. so, yes, we need to do some things to make sure we recover and get unemployment down but if we don't end up putting our finances in or
currently we have soldiers fighting in afghanistan and people don't seem to forget that. i would not say any prime minister is not fighting for the right people. continues to fight for the right people. >> how would any of those prime ministers ask as editor or chief executive how often or would they ever ask you not to publish a story? would they ask you to spike a story? would that happen? >> i can't remember an occasion of prime minister asked that. >> politicians generally do that? >> no. i can remember many occasions when a cabinet minister or politician or prime minister was very unhappy with stories we were running and -- not that they would ask us not to. >> if they had you would have been interested anyway? >> if the story was true and accurate, no reason for a prime minister -- that is why we have a free press. >> final question. still a feeling that in some way you had a close relationship with the prime minister. the allegation seems to be is no different -- the benefit of what people need to see. you have a close relationship with the prime minister. that was helpful to him and
and afghanistan, saving $1 trillion in the process. our troops in the middle east deserve our admiration and praise for so successfully carrying out their missions. we must, however, continue to press for a strategy that will bring our troops home as soon as we safely can. the reid deficit plan would find an additional $40 billion in savings by cutting fraud and abuse in tax compliance and a number of non-defense federal programs and $60 billion in other savings, including cutting unnecessary spending on agricultural subsidies and auctioning off electromagnetic spectrum that the government currently holds. finally, by cutting the government by over $2 trillion, we'll have to borrow less money than anticipated and that will save an additional $400 million -- sorry, $400 billion in projected interest costs. in total, the senate democratic plan on which we will vote would cut the deficits by $2.7 trillion over the next ten years. while senator reid's proposal would not address the tax gimmicks and loopholes throughout our tax code that help favor the well-connected, this omission does not m
afghanistan and iraq is just not credible. we don't know what the obstacles are going to be in afghanistan and possibly iraq. we also don't know what we might have to do in the middle east going forward. afghanistan is not settled, mr. president, and we have to have a certain level of stability on the ground in afghanistan or we will have wasted the billions that we have already spent and the lives of our military personnel in afghanistan because it will go back to the way it was before, a center for terrorism that will come to our country or can come to our country. it did once already and we have been over there to try to wipe out al qaeda and the taliban, which has been in league with al qaeda. we have been over there losing american lives and spending american taxpayer dollars to protect our country from another 9/11. to say that we're going to cut $1 trillion in the future over the next ten years when we aren't placing the emphasis on what are the conditions on the ground is not sound policy and it's certainly not sound national security policy. so that's illusory. and then the other
voting, for example, on the war in afghanistan, they are committing the united states of america to spending spending $10 billion a month in defense of our men and women in uniform, members of our family who are over there waging this war. they voted for that. now president obama has said to them the bill's coming in for the war in afghanistan, i have to borrow money to pay for it. and these same members of congress, house and senate, who voted for the war in afghanistan are now saying we won't pay the bills, we won't extend the debt ceiling, we won't allow you, mr. president, to borrow the money to sustain our military forces in afghanistan. that is literally what we're talking about here in this debate. the american people are starting to come to understand it because when you first ask a person do you want to extend the debt ceiling, the obvious answer is no, are you crazy, senator? why would i want more debt in this country? we need less debt, not more. don't you get it? understandably, that's the public reaction, but when you go to the point of explaining that this is to pay
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